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Aesthetics

In this section, dive into conversations focused on beauty, taste, and the artistic choices made while creating performance. Check out Brendan McCall’s Beyond Ibsen series, which features contemporary Norwegian theatremakers, and Jonathan Mandell’s essay “Pandemic Theatre Aesthetic,” which discusses the immediate artistic responses of theatremakers in the first weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.

The Latest

Polish Connections: A New Generation of Theatre Linkages Between the United States and Poland
Essay
Polish Connections: A New Generation of Theatre Linkages Between the United States and Poland
by Howard Shalwitz, Julieanne Ehre, Brandice Thompson
19 September 2022
I Write What Comes Up in My Body: Robbie McCauley's Theatre
Podcast
I Write What Comes Up in My Body: Robbie McCauley's Theatre
by Leticia Ridley, Jordan Ealey
24 August 2022
Writing Detroit: Dominique Morisseau’s Practice of the Possible
Podcast
Writing Detroit: Dominique Morisseau’s Practice of the Possible
by Jordan Ealey, Leticia Ridley, Dominique Morisseau
10 August 2022
Five people sitting around a table on stage.
Polish Connections: A New Generation of Theatre Linkages Between the United States and Poland
Essay

Polish Connections: A New Generation of Theatre Linkages Between the United States and Poland

19 September 2022

For the past two years, LINKAGES: Poland has convened theatre leaders from Poland and the United States to discuss fieldwide issues. When three theatremakers who have been deeply involved in the project traveled from the United States to Poland this summer, they were struck by the changing landscape of Polish theatre and its parallels to the US theatre industry.

Daughters of Lorraine Podcast teaser.
I Write What Comes Up in My Body: Robbie McCauley's Theatre
Podcast

I Write What Comes Up in My Body: Robbie McCauley's Theatre

24 August 2022

In this episode, Jordan Ealey and Leticia Ridley look at the life and legacy of playwright Robbie McCauley, who recently passed away. They discuss her work as a pioneer of solo performance as a Black woman and how she impacted the world of Black feminist theatre.

Daughters of Lorraine Podcast teaser.
Writing Detroit: Dominique Morisseau’s Practice of the Possible
Podcast

Writing Detroit: Dominique Morisseau’s Practice of the Possible

10 August 2022

Jordan Ealey and Leticia Ridley interview award-winning and acclaimed playwright Dominique Morisseau about her recent Broadway productions of Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations and Skeleton Crew; the future of Detroit theatre and performance; and reckoning with American history. Ealey and Ridley discuss Morisseau’s practice of reparative creativity and the ability for theatre to serve as a rehearsal for true change.

A woman in a traditional garb stands outside facing an audience.
“The Ills We Do, Their Ills Instruct Us So”: Indigenous Futurism at the South Dakota Shakespeare Festival
Essay

“The Ills We Do, Their Ills Instruct Us So”: Indigenous Futurism at the South Dakota Shakespeare Festival

25 July 2022

Robert Hubbard discusses the South Dakota Shakespeare Festival production of Othello, which Tara Moses adapted and directed through an Indigenous Futurist lens. The resulting production employed its Shakespearean source text to model solidarity between Tribal Sovereignty and Black Liberation movements.

Full cast sit together for a picture.
Seeing Double: Double Consciousness as a Black Theatre Practitioner
Essay

Seeing Double: Double Consciousness as a Black Theatre Practitioner

14 July 2022

Ekemini Ekpo applies W.E.B. Dubois’ concept of “double consciousness” to the experience of performing Blackness for a predominantly white audience that may or may not be interested in disturbing the primacy of their own lived experience.

Creating a Space for Black Theatre Audiences
Podcast

Creating a Space for Black Theatre Audiences

With Addae Moon

29 June 2022

This episode is an interview with Addae Moon, the associate artistic director at Theatrical Outfit in Atlanta, Georgia. We discuss his journey as a theatre artist; his playwright development lab, Hush Harbor Lab; and his own artistry and creativity.

LTC attendees standing in front of a mural at Su Teatro.
Why Comedy? Why Now?: On the 2022 Latinx Theatre Commons Comedy Carnaval
Essay

Why Comedy? Why Now?: On the 2022 Latinx Theatre Commons Comedy Carnaval

23 June 2022

Trevor Boffone reflects on the 2022 Latinx Theatre Commons (LTC) Comedy Carnaval that convened at Su Teatro in Denver, Colorado, which was comprised of productions, readings, panels, and special sessions that showcased the depth and range of Latinx comedy in theatre.

 

A shirtless man holds up a book.
Learning from Sources: Performance and Climate Crisis in Four Brazilian Works
Essay

Learning from Sources: Performance and Climate Crisis in Four Brazilian Works

20 April 2022

In Martin Domecq’s contribution to the Climate Emergency series, he puts four Brazillian performance art pieces in conversation to draw upon the poetic, political, and civic lessons they offer. These performances—which range from installations to solo and group performances—model possible paradigms that work against ecological crisis.

Six black actors on stage under multicolored lights.
Audience Behavior in the West and Africa
Essay

Audience Behavior in the West and Africa

3 February 2022

While performing across the West and in Africa, Misheck Mzumara noticed stark differences in typical audience behavior. He discusses those differences, their cultural contexts, and their impact on theatremakers’ experiences in cross-cultural theatre productions.

Two actors on the set of The Elephant Man.
Naming the Trope: A Deep Dive into the Harmful Uses of Disability Stereotypes in the American Theatre
Essay

Naming the Trope: A Deep Dive into the Harmful Uses of Disability Stereotypes in the American Theatre

3 January 2022

From the “Gentleman Freak” to the “Rage-Filled Recluse,” simplistic tropes limit popular representation of disabled individuals. Ben Ranaan explains these tropes and advocates for more complex portrayals of disability in theatre and other media.

A grey-colored person looking off to the left with colorful flowers bursting from their head.
The Realm of the Senses: Theatrical World-Building for Social Activation
Essay

The Realm of the Senses: Theatrical World-Building for Social Activation

26 August 2021

In this entry of Devising Our Future, Aly Perry asks, “How might we position and design theatre as an essential space for healing, pleasure, and connection through an intertwining and interdependent realm of the senses?

event poster with headshot of dora arreola.
Master Class with Dora Arreola: Developing a Concept
Video

Master Class with Dora Arreola: Developing a Concept

With the National Institute for Directing and Ensemble Creation

Saturday 15 May 2021
United States

Pangea World Theater and Art2Action presented a Master Class with Dora Arreola livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Saturday 15 May 2021 at 12 p.m. PST (San Francisco, UTC -8) / 2 p.m. CST (Chicago, UTC -6) / 3 p.m. EST (New York, UTC -5).

poster with headshots R to L: Candrice Jones, Heather Raffo, and Tamilla Woodard.
ARTISTS IN CONVERSATION: New Frameworks for Performance—Now and Beyond
Video

ARTISTS IN CONVERSATION: New Frameworks for Performance—Now and Beyond

With Candrice Jones, Heather Raffo, and Tamilla Woodard

Tuesday 27 April 2021
United States

Playwrights' Center presented ARTISTS IN CONVERSATION: New Frameworks for Performance—Now and Beyond with Candrice Jones, Heather Raffo, and Tamilla Woodard livestreaming on the global, common-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network on Tuesday 27 April 2021 at 5 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 7 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 8 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

Puppet is standing behind a desk made to scale with tiny lamp and white phone. Newspaper clippings compose the backdrop.
Puppets in Space
Essay

Puppets in Space

Dramaturgical Thinking and the Mosaic Scale for Puppetry

9 April 2021

Emily LeQuesne discusses space as it relates to puppetry and shares a practical, five-step dramaturgy system for puppet theatre, which she developed, called the Mosaic Scale.

Set of Double Edge Theatre's production of "Leonora, la maga y la maestra".
Leonora Carrington and the Theatre
Video

Leonora Carrington and the Theatre

With Susan Aberth and Double Edge Theatre

Sunday 7 March 2021
United States

Double Edge Theatre presented a conversation between Double Edge Artistic Director Stacy Klein and renowned Surrealist scholar Dr. Susan L. Aberth livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Sunday 7 March 2021 at 12 p.m. PST (San Francisco, UTC -8) / 2 p.m. CST (Chicago, UTC -6) / 3 p.m. EST (New York, UTC -5).

youtube screenshot
a farm for my mother, a farm for meme
Essay

a farm for my mother, a farm for meme

21 December 2020

Priscilla Solis Ybarra reflects on her experience watching Virginia Grise’s a farm for meme at home, during the pandemic, with her eighty-two-year-old mother whose life shares parallels with the story in the play.

Prelude festival 2020 graphic.
Prelude 2020: Sites of Revolution
Video

Prelude 2020: Sites of Revolution

Presented by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center

Tuesday 20 October to Friday 30 October 2020
New York City

The 2020 Prelude Festival: Sites of Revolution, brings together artists, critics, activists, and producers from New York City and beyond to explore the many ways in which revolutions are taking place today.

digital rendering of city street with white text PERFORMANCE XR 2020
Performance and XR 2020 (PXR2020) Symposium
Video

Performance and XR 2020 (PXR2020) Symposium

A Virtual Reality Symposium for Canadian artists and XR technologists, exploring creation and performance in XR

Friday 2 October to Saturday 10 October
Canada

Toasterlab presented the symposium Performance and XR 2020 (PXR2020) livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv from Friday 2 October to Saturday 10 October 2020.

Daylight lighting. The puppeteer, dressed in black, is sitting on a short black cube on a grey stage in front of bookshelves. The puppet, with white body and light blue costume, is sitting on the puppeteers knee. The puppet head, bald and painted off-white, is blocking the puppeteers face. The puppet's right leg is separate from the rest of its body, connected to the right leg and toes of the puppeteer. There is a large space between the two puppet legs. The gesture of the right hand of the puppet is raised
Puppetry and Disability Aesthetics
Essay

Puppetry and Disability Aesthetics

4 May 2020

Marina Tsaplina examines the complexity of the word “disability,” how puppetry can push forward disability justice, and disability aesthetics, offering what she deems a “grammar of animacy” for artists working with disability.

an actor onstage
Taking Risks to Promote Community with Visky’s Juliet
Essay

Taking Risks to Promote Community with Visky’s Juliet

20 April 2020

Neil Blackadder writes about three productions of Juliet at Chicago’s Theatre Y, including the most recent one that configured and filled the small black-box space in an unusual way.

two actors onstage
Pandemic Theatre Aesthetic
Essay

Pandemic Theatre Aesthetic

7 April 2020

Jonathan Mandell examines the new theatrical landscape brought on by COVID-19 and discusses the emerging aesthetic—one that is low-tech, low-key, one-on-one, close-up.

three people writing on a large circular paper hanging on a wall
Visual Storytelling in Socially Engaged Performance
Essay

Visual Storytelling in Socially Engaged Performance

26 February 2020

Irina Kruzhilina discusses the importance of visuals as a means of expression in politically and socially engaged theatre.

three actors onstage
Moving Towards a Migratory Dramaturgy
Essay

Moving Towards a Migratory Dramaturgy

11 February 2020

Devika Ranjan talks about the ways in which migration can influence performance structures, what she has identified as “migratory dramaturgy.”

an actor onstage
How the way she spoke Resuscitated the Power of Storytelling Through Minimalism
Essay

How the way she spoke Resuscitated the Power of Storytelling Through Minimalism

10 November 2019

Sean Anthony Chia examines the impact of a powerful story—one without spectacle—through the lens of Isaac Gomez’s the way she spoke.

four actors onstage surrounding by an audience standing
Drag, Disco, and the Donkey
Essay

Drag, Disco, and the Donkey

Performed Masculinities in American Repertory Theater’s The Donkey Show

23 October 2019

James Montaño discusses The Donkey Show, cross-gendered performances vs. drag, camp as an aesthetic concept, and more.